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A boy and girl face the challenge of the world's last frontier
A teenage girl and her young brother are stranded in the Australian outback and are forced to cope on their own. They meet an Aborigine on "walkabout": a ritualistic banishment from his tribe
Nicolas Roeg is fast becoming one of my favorite directors. Granted, I've only digested three of his films so far, and I understand that his quality declines quite drastically later in his career (otherwise, I would have expected him to be one of the all-time greats instead of just respected yet rarely talked about), but he has yet to take a misstep in my book. Not only are the films of his I've watched commendable, they are truly excellent. From his mastery of the thriller/horror in Don't Look Now to the daring experimental sci-fi of The Man Who Fell To Earth, I've now been lucky enough to catch the beautiful, perhaps even 'Malickian' nature odyssey of Walkabout.
Walkabout, above all,…
I often talk about how I cherish the rare and unique opportunity to experience a film through pure, unbiased eyes, having never seen a trailer or a clip, with no knowledge of even a basic premise to get me started before sitting down and pressing play. Such was my approach to the 1971 Australian movie Walkabout, as I literally only knew the name of the director and the fact that it was deemed worthy of inclusion to the Criterion collection.
I wanted Nicolas Roeg to tell me a story, to paint something extraordinary with his highly regarded brush that, despite his expansive filmography, I had never witnessed in action before.
The film starts with various shots of crowded,…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
"I don't suppose it matters which way we go..."
Nicholas Roeg's 1971 film Walkabout is so dizzying in it's sheer beauty, that one tends to get just as lost in it's Australian landscape and vistas as our protagonists, and it's through Nic Roeg's innovative editing and cinematography that we witness a teenage schoolgirl and her little brother become one with the landscape, as if nature is devouring the foreign objects that enter into its realm (symbolised by their picnic food being consumed by ants).
Edward Bond's 14 page screenplay, which is loosely based on the novel 'Walkabout' by James Vance Marshall, is apparently quite a step away from the novel in it's cinematic form. Roeg infuses the film with layers…
The near silent opening of the film contrasts the concrete hell of the city set against the wise open spaces of the Australian outback. It is not until we are in the car with the girl, her younger brother and father that we have a clear understanding of where exactly we are. The montage of scenes before that converge together in surreal motion, the power of the images alone enough to inform you of the films psychology.
Nicolas Roeg's film was seemingly lost, then resurrected in full and appears to slowly be finding an audience at last. Its themes are simple yet wonderfully effective. Roeg looks at the industrialisation of the world and the ongoing battle against nature, always waiting…
While I haven't quite successfully fallen head-over-heels in love with any of Nicolas Roeg's individual films yet, the one thing that I have consistently loved is that he has a very creative sense of style. His unique photography and editing manage to oscillate between serenely beautiful and roughly jarring, a technical range not many filmmakers are capable of. He also consistently succeeds in pushing the boundaries of the cinematic medium, contrasting images and forcing us to draw our own conclusions from them.
This continues in Walkabout. Roeg crosscuts between the death of a kangaroo in the wild and a butcher chopping meat in his shop. He layers images on top of each other as if in a dissolve, but instead…
It's been a day and a half since watching Walkabout. Normally I come and write my thoughts down right away, but this one has given me fits with how to express them.
A brother and sister, stranded and left in the outback, try and survive after running into an aborigine during his 'walkabout' - where on his 16th birthday he must go and live in the wildnerness surviving off the natural means of the earth. It's a very simple tale yet shown to us so poetically that it begs you to reflect on your own life.
Director Nicholas Roeg shows us what surviving in the wilderness of the Australian outback can feel like, and in such a natural beautiful way.…
there's a lot of beautiful shots here, but also some kinda creepy ones. roeg is a bit of a perv, i guess. the skinny dipping scene had the potential to be beautiful but it went on for a bit too long, the male gaze was a little too troubling, especially when placed against the male characters going out hunting.
the camerawork is really good for the most part though, a lot of shots that linger after the characters are gone, creating a sense of unease. the freeze frames worked well during the hunting scenes. shame about the creepiness really, because it is a good film.
I long to see the bareness of Australia and Agutter with Walkabout. It is not a movie about survival but I think an analogy on how a teenager copes with a sudden incident and how she carried a burden of responsibility instantly.
Nicolas Roeg in his prime made exquisite films that told stories in new ways. Roeg's unusual editing technique makes his films highly unpredictable, intense and at times dreamlike. Walkabout is an engrossing adventure of a sister and brother whose father tries to kill them and failing that sets himself on fire. This scene in itself is unlike any other, like a distant, half-remembered nightmare. The children flee into the Australian desert where they eventually meet up with a friendly aboriginal teenager who accompanies them on their trek.
Walkabout slowly pulls you into a calm dream in which a strange erotic tension can be felt. The cinematography is beautiful and there are some special effects of the screen being turned like…
Movies contrasting different cultures tend to be predictable and heavy handed. The fact that Walkabout tackles the subject matter without being either is a big part of what makes it so brilliant and fascinating. Add in some incredible cinematography and you have a truly memorable film
Wow. What a film should be. Layers with no easy answers. Had no clue what to expect, I have this mixed up in my mind with "The Gods Must Be Crazy," which I also have no clue about. Felt very much like Picnic At Hanging Rock. Easy to see why it's an early Criterion spine.
Some of the sound design in this is incredible, bordering on avante-garde sound collage. The tone and mood is fantastic, and I feel like it has a lot to say about nature and the colonization and urbanization of Australia. However, I do feel like the plot was extremely thin and the motivations of the characters were sometimes fuzzy at best. Some of that may get better on a rewatch, but some things, like the children CLEARLY walking the wrong way when they initially get lost, will probably continue to irk me.
Walkabout is narrative less cinema done right. It dispenses with traditional story telling and instead presents us with a dream like journey through the outback. The film itself is stunning to look at each frame filed with the beauty of the landscape and the animals that inhabit it.
Despite the lack of traditional story telling the film is not short on themes. It deals with childhood, memory, loss, racial relations and peoples relationships with nature and the world around them. Do we learn to adapt and live by the laws of the county we find ourselves in being as it where one with the world around us or do we flatten it and build over it putting our own comforts…
In general, I don't like movies like this. Walkabout is light on plot and heavy on trying to be unique experience. The theme blatantly has to do with connection with nature, and it is done in a way that I could at least partially connect with. I would be lying if I said I have never day dreamed about just leaving the complexities and stress of normal civilization. This movie, in a way, fulfilled that part of my mind. In the end, however, this movie was not anything really special. I don't really have anything else to say, so I'll just end in saying that it was alright.
Sentence: Soundtrack of this movie was done by the James Bond soundtrack guy.
One of my ultimate nightmares would be to become lost in the Australian Outback, with the amount of spiders and snakes out there that would be single handedly out to get you. And that just so happens to be the premise of Walkabout, a teenage girl and her younger brother get stuck miles into the desert after their father inexplicably opens fire on them and then shoots himself in the head after sets fire to their car. Why? I don't particularly think Director Nicolas Roeg is interested, his interested in fact lies with in the outback and the contrast with the civilised world.
I think the main question at the centre of Walkabout is have we suppressed savagery or have…
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
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